Saturday, March 31, 2007

Ode to my Inner Nerd

Husband here, let me start this post by saying that as you all know I am married. Not only am I married, but I married a dear sweet woman who is the love of my life. It has been nearly seven of the happiest years of my life and I hope to experience many more.

That said however Wife is one of those women that wouldn’t know an orc if it hit her over the head with a bastard sword. Yes, I married a woman that thinks that elves are not real, dragons are confined to the name of our favorite Chinese takeout restaurant, and that grown men who play on-line roll playing games do not have enough chores to do around the house.

Oh woe is me!

So when my friend John introduced me to Neverwinter Nights and the perpetual world on which he regularly played (Avlis), Wife rolled her eyes and humored me. I could almost hear the thoughts in her head at the time, “it’s okay, I’ve purged worse habits out of him, this is one that I can wear down with some gentle nagging and the occasional lingerie.”

(In case Wife reads this post I should add at this point, the more lingerie figures into our domestic life, the less I’ll play on the computer and the more I’ll be her personal slave.)

Well what Wife didn’t expect to deal with when I discovered NWN was a part of my personality that I had buried deep from her, hidden it really. Yes I think you all know what I mean. She didn’t know about my Inner Nerd.

My Inner Nerd of course is the antithesis of the responsible adult that I pretend to be. The responsible adult sees the need to pay off credit cards, work extra hours to impress the boss, and always try to network with people he meets so that he can find that dream job.

The Inner Nerd on the other hand believes that paying off credit cards consists of hacking into the credit card company’s mainframe and erasing your outstanding debt. He would rather not work, and if he did find the necessity to work it would be at a super bookstore like Borders or Barnes and Noble (unless it’s a liberal Inner Nerd in which case a used bookstore would be ideal). The most important characteristic of the Inner Nerd of course is this simple truth: friendships aren’t forged at dinner parties or league bowling night; they are formed when you are locked in an epic struggle with your traveling companions as legions of goblin warlocks attack you with their exploding chickens.

My Inner Nerd is like most everyone else’s. He loves the drama of an epic fight. He appreciates the satisfying sight of watching his XP (experience points…the nerd equivalent of a batting average) mount throughout his adventures. He finds humor in the jokes that inevitably crop up when someone’s talking about his “polearm +2” (kind of like a corked bat) that they ran through a bugbear (like a…oh never mind if you’re not a nerd you won’t get it). And of course he can engage in hour long debates about how Battlestar Gallactica is far superior to both Star Wars and Star Trek.

Most of all my Inner Nerd loves emoting. *Looks curious*, *rubs chin thoughfully*, the ever popular *nod*, and a personal favorite *scratches ass with battleaxe, jumps from pain when he remembers it’s infused with fire*. How fun it is to simply allow my imagination to determine my actions, to find in my character an on-line extension of personality, devoid of consequences.

Yet for all the joy I find in it, even my Inner Nerd cannot resist the determination of Wife. The guilt at times is overwhelming. The worst night occurred several months ago, I was playing late as I usual do when up comes a dm (dungeon master…kind of like a baseball manager or God) controlling a child that pleaded for my help. How could I turn down a child? And so I gathered the others playing on the server, and off to the rescue we marched. Several hours later, as the sun broke the horizon I slumped into bed, weary but satisfied from a night’s work. Only realizing the moment my head hit the pillow and the alarm clock rang that I might have stayed up too late. Wife didn’t have to say anything that morning *sighs sadly*.

And so now I find myself struggling, wondering if it’s safe to jump on-line for two or three hours to join in the dm lead event. I find myself saying things like, “sure honey I’ll scrub the toilet, why don’t you go to the store and get our grocery shopping done, that way we’ll be multi-tasking,” or “I really have to finish this paper for work, why don’t you go to bed without me,” or my personal favorite “yes dear I’ll be there in five minutes let me finish this email to my grandfather.” (Note to all readers who haven’t used this last one, five minutes equates to five hours or the length of time it takes her to fall asleep so that she won’t be that mad at you when you wake up in the morning.)

Yes marriage and on-line gaming are a difficult balancing act. I suppose I could actually talk to Wife and tell her that I want to play for a few hours tonight. “What’s that dear? Oh yes I’ll finish up here in just five minutes.” Hehehe, I’m going to go find myself some goblin warlocks to kill.

Song of the Day: Now this is fun. As Wife mentioned we have a West Virginia flower on our roof allowing us to get all sorts of stations that cable doesn't provide. Among these are my new favorite network "IMF: the International Music Feed" which not only plays videos but actually plays them from all over the world. In tribute to this channel here's a video from German/Austrian/Swiss (who knows they all sound the same to me) artist Christina Sturmer

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Dog Shack

So I pretty much am the worst blogger ever. The sad part about it is that I still come back and check my blog to see if you guys have left anything interesting in the comments section. Have you? Of course not because I haven't written anything in a month.

Well that's about to change, from henceforth I will write fortnightly....except when I don't.

That's the kind of stick-to-itiveness that has allowed me to start five diets and six exercise regimens this year alone. While that may not sound good to you, if you think about it that means I'm at least doing something to better my health almost every week. Of course the fact that I've included the "bacon diet" and the "Chinese Buffet diet" in that calculation probably doesn't help my cholesterol at all (though the latter diet doesn't stick with you very long).

As disgusting as my dietary habits are they pale in comparison to those of my dear sweet wife. Yes I might lick the sour cream spoon clean when I'm making beef stroganoff, and yes I do think that Chinese food is good despite the cat in it (maybe because of the cat). But Wife thinks things like this are good:
Yes that slightly troubling looking item that Wife is eating is a Milky Way bar battered and fried. Now this disgusting delicacy that hails from the north of England is healthy compared to her new favorite food.

Just outside my home town there's an establishment that I frequented as a youth known as The Dog Shack. Yes it lives up to its name. This 10X15 foot establishment is nothing more than a counter and some deep fryers, in which they make the nastiest hot dogs on the good Lord's earth. As vile as these things may seem where else can you get three dogs with the works for $.99 ($1.49 now with inflation)? Now I introduced Wife to this establishment in hopes of having her share in my catharsis as I returned to my youthful haunts. Sadly she discovered something that I did not know they made...
CHEESY CURLY FRIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This vile concoction is part curly fry, part industrial lubricant (i.e. nacho cheese sauce). The making of this product is quick and easy:

1. Fry fries in oil that's never been changed.
2. Fill a gallon Styrofoam container halfway with curly fries.
3. Pour industrial lubricant over the top.
4. Put in the rest of the fries.
5. Smother the new fries with enough lubricant so that faith is required to know there are fries in there.
6. Watch your customer's arteries clog in real time.

I'll try to get pictures of this most decadent of treats next time we make it to my mother country.

I have a new website for all of you to check out it's one of my new favorites:

The guy does strange maps...yes I'm a nerd but look, it's the regional breads of France!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Why I like having West Virginia's State Flower (aka the satellite dish) on the roof of my house

Wife here. I have been thinking about our satellite dish lately and while it may be more of an eyesore sitting on the roof of our house, we both agree that we love it and here's why.
1. BYUtv--Make fun if you like but I am able to live in upstate New York and still watch General Conference on my couch in my jammies, having woken up 10 minutes before the morning session begins (which, in upstate New York is noon, by the way). Also, where else can I see 'Saturday's Warrior' or 'Abinidi: The Opera.' Seriously, 'Abinidi: The Opera.' You can totally tell that its some TMA doctoral student's life work but it's Hilarious.
2. IMF--The International Music Feed. This is my source for all things cool music, where I discover new bands from the world over (mostly America and Great Britain). And since I listen to cool music, I am therefore still cool even though I will be married to a 30 year old in just a few short months. And I have IMF to thank for it.
3. Serious Satellite Radio and several CD all music stations--Radio with no commercials. Awesome for cleaning the house. I just set it on the 90's Alternative Rock station (you know, when music was good), turn up the surround sound speakers so it reverberates through the entire house and there's no stopping me. At least not until Law & Order comes on.
4. CSTV--College Sports television. We can still watch BYU sports and therefore our children will want to attend BYU (unless they see 'Abinidi: The Opera' and think that all of BYU is that lame) and as a parent who will help her children pay for college, this is good.
5. It doesn't really go out during bad weather like the cable commercials make it sound. We've watched on windy days and during New York snowstorms with no problems.
6. The Extras--like the Karaoke channel. Now I just need friends good enough to embarrass themselves like those who were there during that magical night in Provo so many years ago now.
7. All this for something like $45 a month. What a steal. Now I just have to convince my husband that an extra $5 a month for a DVR is worth it.
That is all. Now I think I'll go watch television.